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03 Dec 2018 | 12:05

Risk on sentiment helps lift FTSE and oil

The G20 summit had two big bits of positive news for the market at the weekend and that is firing big gains for the FTSE 100 today. By midday the index was up nearly 2% at 7,116.66.

Most significantly the US and China agreed an effective ceasefire on their trade war, this is lifting resources stocks amid hopes the move will help support the commodity-consuming Chinese economy.

Talks between Saudi Arabia and Russia also brought the promise of a co-ordinated effort in the oil market, only slightly soured by news Qatar is quitting OPEC. The oil producers' cartel is set to meet in Vienna on Thursday.

Futures markets are pointing to big gains in the US when trading resumes in New York later on.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

London Southend airport owner Stobart Group fell 10.5% to 176.9p after it decided to cut its dividend to conserve cash for investments in its aviation and energy divisions.

Plastic products manufacturer RPC Group fell 4.2% to 686.4p on news that a takeover pursuit of the company had become a one-horse race.

Bain Capital was no longer interested in a tie-up, RPC said, while an extension had been granted to Apollo Global Management to decide whether it wanted to lodge a firm bid.

AstraZeneca gained 1% to £61.76 as it completed a deal to sell rights to acid reflux and arthritis treatments to Grunenthal for a combined $815m.

Engineering services group Babcock International ticked up 0.6% to 571.6p on news that a joint venture with UGL had been awarded a new A$1.5bn (£866m) contract by the Australian Defence Force.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering gained 3.8% to £63.65 on announcing that it had sold German industrial air humidification equipment supplier HygroMatik to Carel Industries for €59.0m.

Power generation company Drax fell 1.1% to 386p despite favourably tweaking the terms of a deal to buy pumped storage, hydro and gas-fired generation assets from Spain's Iberdrola.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Convenience store retailer McColl's Retail tumbled 29.4% to 83.9p after it downgraded earnings expectations for both the year just-ended and the current financial year, citing supplier disruptions, higher labor costs and 'consumer uncertainty'.

Medical diagnostics kit supplier Omega Diagnostics shed 15.6% to 14.1p as it reported a rise in first-half profit that was entirely driven by asset-sale proceeds. Revenue from continuing operations slipped 7%.

Shield Therapeutics gained 0.6% to 34p on news that the US Food and Drug Administration had accepted for review a new drug application for its lead iron deficiency product.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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